VCC falters in upset bid
by Tom Coombe
The Vermilion Ironhawks’ bid for a big upset got off to an impressive start on Tuesday night.
But the momentum didn’t last as first-place Itasca settled in after a first-set hiccup and recovered to defeat the community college volleyball team in four.
The Vikings rallied to win 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-11 in Northern Division action at the Vermilion gymnasium.
Vermilion, which fell to 5-9 on the season and 4-7 in division contests, was looking to knock off a Vikings team that shares the Northern lead with Northland at 8-2.
It looked promising after the first set and even well into the third, when Vermilion led 13-12 and had the Vikings on their heels.
Itasca, however, rebounded and dominated the rest of the match.
“I’d love to see the energy we had in set one continue for an entire match,” said Vermilion Head Coach Aaron Bender.
The Ironhawks’ offense was limited by Itasca, and Chloe Sullivan was the only Vermilion player to reach double digits in kills with 10.
Teammates Misty Bozich and Naomi Bollman had six each and Destiny Herring finished with five.
Setter Thea Baier had a team-best 24 set assists.
• In Wednesday night action, VCC bounced back and swept Fond du Lac 25-11, 25-7, 25-15 as Bollman and Sullivan recorded eight kills each.
Herring delivered six aces, while Sullivan and Bozich had three apiece and Ely graduate Lexi Halberg had a kill
• Vermilion was coming off a two-game split over the weekend at Saturday’s Dakota County Triangular in Inver Grove Heights.
The highlight was a five-set thriller in which Vermilion knocked off host and NJCAA Division II school Dakota County.
Baier distributed 38 set assists as Vermilion rallied from two sets down and won 22-25, 16-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-13.
Herring dominated at the net and had 15 kills to go with a whopping 35 digs.
Bollman recorded 13 kills and 18 digs and Sullivan notched a double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs.
Bozich wound up with 25 digs and three kills.
The Ironhawks lost in three to Lake Region State (N.D.) in the other triangular contest. Scores were 25-13, 25-9, 25-20.
Bollman had seven kills and Bozich was next with six for Vermilion, which hosts Central Lakes and Mesabi as part of a Parents’ Weekend homestand Oct. 14-15.